Fresh sighting of Ferrari’s long-awaited Purosangue SUV track testing has fanned the gossip flames again: does the length of the test mule's bonnet suggest that there's been some making-of-room for the firm's biggest block? Does a bear micturate in the woods? Discussion of the V12's appearance has been bubbling since Ferrari insiders pointed out that some of the car's scalable hardware is shared with other front-mid engined models. It's a nice fit with the SUV vastly expensive image, too. If it can be made to fit.
The use of a cut-and-shut Maserati Levante body to shield the Purosangue from prying eyes (and keep the rain off the engineers' heads) confirms that the latest platform is so heavily evolved as to be essentially bespoke. It’s set to be aluminium-intensive, as per Ferrari tradition, and will have to be adaptable to work with several variants, which will certainly include hybrid models, probably in conjunction with V8 and V6 engines. Despite the diverse range of SUVs now on offer, Ferrari is promising a break from the norm.
Of course, the norm now includes the likes of the Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX. It seems like the Purosangue will be much more closely aligned with the British model, firstly because of its claims for all-round performance but also because its underpinnings won’t be shared directly with another model. That aspect has worked wonders for Aston's 4x4 - and the car's reception will not have gone unnoticed in Maranello.
Ferrari wasn’t particularly secretive at the launch of the Roma last year about the new interior making it into other future models. A digital instrument cluster and touchscreen are inevitable, and it doesn't seem far-fetched to suggest that the Purosangue will receive the same passenger display. Potentially those in the back will be offered the same visuals, too; expect the manufacturer to be pushing the importance of those seated behind the driver more than it ever has before.
Expect to hear about adaptive suspension, too, and new off-road capable software for the driveline. Ferrari certainly has the technical nous to make tricky condition systems work - see the latest 'Wet' mode for examples - and buyers will expect a certain amount of expanded usability, no matter how road-bias the Purosangue will likely be. So while at this stage the car looks like a squished Levante, furnished only with a development name (not a final moniker), it is likely to be the recipient of at least as much cutting-edge tech as Ferrari's other more famous models. Whether that helps us like it come next year, we wait to see.
1 / 4